Chasmac is a semi-retired guitar teacher who has taught in various schools in London and elsewhere for over 30 years.
Here's a very easy classical guitar piece by the 18th/19th century Spanish guitarist and composer, Dionisio Aguado. It's around grade one level—the lowest level of difficulty as set by various examining centres in the U.K., such as ABRSM (the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music).
You can hear a MIDI version of the score as it displays line by line in the video to give you an idea of how it should sound if you're sight reading isn't quite up to it. The audio track is actually from MIDI produced by the notation software and converted to Audio so that it can play in the video capsule. The MIDI voice is a synthetic acoustic guitar—not very lifelike, but enough to let you hear how the piece sounds.
The score playback quality setting is 1080HD, so try to use that for the clearest display of the notation and tab.
Alternatively, read from the same score displayed in full under the video. You can enlarge the score using the "see all photos" gallery feature.
Waltz in G by Aguado | Notation and Tab
The piece is in two parts, each of which is repeated. There's not much more than a melody in this piece. The harmony is implied by the way the melody outlines chord tones, so you can let notes ring out to ensure the notes combine as a chord. There's no real independent bassline; just the low melody notes that provide a very minimal bass.
Most of Waltz in G is in the first position of the fretboard, but it also rises to the 3rd position in a few places, such as bar two where D is played on string 2, fret 3 with your 1st finger and B is played on string 3 fret, 4 with your 2nd finger. It's necessary to play it this way so that the notes B & D can be played on different strings at the same time.
Bar 10 needs a mention, too, as the G needs to be played on string 4 at fret 5 (as the tab shows). It's played with finger 3 of your fretting hand and with the thumb of your picking hand.
Picking-hand fingering is shown in just a few places where it might be helpful using the standard classical guitar labels, p, i, m, a, as the fingering chart shows.
Time Signature and Timing
The time signature of 34 "three-four", which is typical for waltzes means there are three beats to the bar and each beat is worth a quarter note.
The 'rit' sign (short for ritardando) at bar 12 means slow down; the 'a tempo' sign at bar 13 means resume the previous playing speed (tempo).
G B D
D F# A C
C E G
Key and Chords
For those who like to know what's going on in the piece, musically, the key (as the title confirms) is G major, and you can see the chords used in the chart opposite.
- The Tonic means the 'home chord', the chord that is the tonal centre of the music.
- The Dominant is the chord that leads home to the tonic
- The Subdominant usually leads to the dominant, but in this case it doesn't. It provides a tonal contrast to the tonic chord to introduce the second section.
Most of the time in this piece, the chords are incomplete with just the essential chord tones present, or spread out through the bar. Bar 2 is a good example of a G major chord that takes a full bar for all of its chord tones (G, B & D) to appear. Bar 3 is a good example of D7's chord tones (D, F#, A & C) taking up a full bar too.
Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849) was a renowned Spanish guitarist and guitar composer. He also included teaching methods in his publications and there are many classical guitar finger training exercises of his still in print in addition to his published compositions. You can learn more about Aguado on Wikipedia.
The music, Waltz in G, is composed by Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849) and is in the public domain.
The score, audio track and cover image are produced by chasmac on Finale, Goldwave and Photoshop.
© 2014 chasmac